My name is Carolina, and every day I spend in the Comunitŗ Cenacolo I get more and more to know and love myself in truth. Accepting myself as I am has always been a great problem since I was a little girl, because I felt different from the other kids and it was hard to make friends. I didnít feel my family close to me. My parents used to work very hard to give us everything, but we children missed them a lot. I didnít have a sincere relationship with them, but I had a strong one with my younger sister. I was the older child, so I felt responsible for her, but our parents had such different behaviours toward me and toward her that I got very jealous. As a consequence, I became violent and tough to her. My parents brought me up well. We were Catholic. I met Jesus, but we had no realistic view of faith. I was convinced that suffering had no meaning, so when I started to suffer, I felt disillusioned and I went away from God.
When I was about twelve, I started to ask myself many questions. There were many problems in my family, but nobody spoke about them. There was a heavy silence around us. I was full of anger so at school I became very insubordinate. I refused my family and started to wear masks with my friends to be accepted by them. I lost my personality and wrong relationships with my peers led me to lose my dignity and the values of life. I felt sadder and sadder, so at sixteen I left school and became addicted to light drugs first, then I passed to stronger ones. I was totally addicted to discos and other bad things. I thought I was free and happy, but I plunged deeper and deeper into evil. I needed money, so I started to steal. My only goal was to buy drugs.
I spent a lot of time in the streets, where I met heroin. I used to say to myself, ďJust today. Tomorrow Iíll quit,Ē but that moment never came. When I realized I could not get out of it, I asked my mother for help. She told me about the Comunitŗ Cenacolo, but when I knew it was Christian, I refused it because to me God was responsible of all my problems. I was false. I didnít consider myself addicted because I was young, my teeth werenít falling out, and I didnít suffer from hepatitis. I was pretty ok, so why such a hard life? I left home and went on taking drugs. Thatís when my life plunged into total darkness and desperation. I didnít see a future for myself. I felt bad and full of shame, so I decided to enter the Community to be helped, because I had no other place to go. The girls were very welcoming and patient. What really struck me was that even if I told them bad words and rejected them, they showed me a lot of love. I didnít often do what I was told, but I was not punished. They only asked me to start again, being honest.
I started to trust Jesus again when I saw that He was with me in my sorrow. When I felt bad, I experienced His presence through others and in prayer. During the first two years my heart was full of darkness. I still liked drugs a lot, and I realized this when I went home for a few days. When I went back to the Community, I wanted to wipe everything out, pretending I was ok. Thank God, I was moved to another house where they asked me to remain in silence. Thanks to this and to the prayers of my sisters, my conscience started to shout. For the first time I realized how much work I still had to do. So I started my walk towards the light, which I consider a privilege and a great gift.
Now I have been in the Community house of Lourdes for some time and the sweetness of Our Lady is healing me. Today I understand that forgiving is better than evil. None of our mistakes prevent God from loving us and now I feel Iím a daughter, loved by Him and by the Community. Today I feel I really wish to return this love by helping others, because I do want to learn how to love.
Thank you, Jesus, and thank you, Mother Elvira, and all the Cenacolo family because you gave me the opportunity to turn my life from evil into beauty and truth.